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Giroux, Neuvirth help Flyers defeat Blues

by Louie Korac / NHL.com

ST. LOUIS -- Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves, and the Philadelphia Flyers scored three goals in the second period of a 4-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Michael Raffl and Matt Read scored goals 3:24 apart, and Claude Giroux scored late in the second to erase a 1-0 deficit for the Flyers (12-11-6), who won their fourth straight game on the road.

"I think we do a good job on the road kind of keeping our composure and waiting for our opportunity," said Giroux, who had two assists.

Brayden Schenn had two assists for the Flyers, who play at the Dallas Stars on Friday.

"It's good," Giroux said. "They're a good team and we don't have an easier game tomorrow, so it's good to get this one."

It was Philadelphia's first win in St. Louis since Dec. 17, 2005.

Robby Fabbri and David Backes scored for the Blues (16-9-4), who are 1-3-1 their past five games. Brian Elliott made 25 saves.

The Blues felt they played well in the first and third periods, but inconsistent play and mistakes cost them in the second.

"We stopped checking," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I'm sure the players said the same thing. Stopped checking. Stopped checking, opened up gaps, had some soft plays in the scoring areas against us, and that gave them the three goals.

"It's a common denominator for four of the last six games. This is a league, the more you check, the more you have the puck, the more you stay on the hunt, the more you play on your toes, the more you close gaps, the more you have the puck ... when you're inconsistent in that level, you open it up. This has been an ongoing theme for a little while, and we've got to get it solved. We were really good in the first and we really dialed it up in the third, but you're coming from behind, you're mounting comebacks all the time."

Raffl tied it 1-1 after Fabbri put the Blues ahead 1-0 1:35 into the second. Raffl deflected Schenn's centering feed at 3:15 after Giroux won an offensive zone faceoff. It was the Flyers' first goal in St. Louis in 171:00.

Read put the Flyers ahead 2-1 at 6:39 after Blues defenseman Petteri Lindbohm's turnover put Philadelphia into the offensive zone. After corralling Michael Del Zotto's point shot and pulling the puck around to his forehand, Read fanned on his first attempt but beat Elliott at the near post as he was falling down. Wayne Simmonds got an assist, his 100th with the Flyers and 300th NHL point.

"It's second efforts out there," Read said. "There's not too many pretty goals out there. Not all of us are [Giroux] that can deke a guy a couple times and then deke the goalie, so it's the type of goal that we have to pride ourselves on. Those are the goals that, it doesn't have to be pretty, you just have to do the job in front of the net."

Giroux's first goal against St. Louis, the last of the 29 teams he's faced that he hadn't scored against, with 1:54 left in the second came after taking Schenn's pass at the blue line, dangling around Magnus Paajarvi and tucking a backhand past Elliott to make it 3-1.

"It was a nice goal," Giroux said. "To be honest, I don't really remember what happened, but we were up 2-1 there and we wanted that third goal. I was pretty happy."

Backes' power-play goal, his 52nd with the Blues, tying Brendan Shanahan for ninth on their all-time list, came after Alexander Steen's slap shot from the right circle fell in front of Backes, who beat Neuvirth at 7:37 of the third to make it 3-2.

Ryan White scored an empty-net goal with 1.7 seconds remaining after the Blues outshot the Flyers 14-7 in the third and came with a hard push for the equalizer.

"Third period was great," St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "I don't know what the shots were, but we were down in their end the whole time and it was a real great push. The guys didn't give up or anything like that. Another couple minutes and maybe we score another goal."

A scoreless first period saw the Blues come up with the best scoring opportunities, but Neuvirth made point-blank stops on Paul Stastny early and Paajarvi late.

Neuvirth withstood the Blues' late push and made key saves throughout the game.

"I think tonight, [Neuvirth] did a really good job for us," Giroux said. "He made some key saves. When they were pressing us in the first and in the third, he did a good job of keeping us in the game."

"We came here for two points and followed the game plan," Neuvirth said. "A great team effort on the road and a huge two points for us. It was a very tough game."

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